A Plagued Journey
–Maya AngelouThere is no warning rattle at the doornor heavy feet to stomp the foyer boards.Safe in the dark prison, I know thatlight slides overthe fingered work of a toothlesswoman in Pakistan.Happy prints ofan invisible time are illumined.My mouth agaperejects the solid air andlungs hold. The invader takesdirection andseeps through the plaster walls.It is at my chamber, enteringthe keyhole, pushingthrough the padding of the door.I cannot scream. A boneof fear clogs my throat.It is upon me. It issunrise, with Hopeits arrogant rider.My mind, formerly quiescentin its snug encasement, is strainedto look upon their rapturous visages,to let them enter even into me.I am forcedoutside myself tomount the light and ride joined with Hope.Through all the bright hoursI cling to expectation, untildarkness comes to reclaim meas its own. Hope fades, day is goneinto its irredeemable placeand I am thrown back into the familiarbonds of disconsolation.Gloom crawls aroundlapping lasciviouslybetween my toes, at my ankles,and it sucks the strands of myhair. It forgives my headyfling with Hope. I amjoined again into itsgreedy arms.